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Fantasy lessons we learned in Week 4

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you had fantasy starters on high- scoring teams like New Orleans and Philadelphia, seeing names like Clay Harbor and Jed Collins doing the scoring is frustrating.

Below are a few more things we learned on Sunday afternoon.

Carolina at Chicago

The Bears apparently got the note from the league that says although this is a "passing league" you ARE allowed to run the ball too. Matt Forte was the beneficiary, rushing nine times for 94 yards and a score by halftime and finished with a spectacular 205 yards on the ground.

Less Devin Hester on offense means a scarier Hester in the return game.

After a bad week in the rain last week, the Cam Newton-to-Steve Smith combination looked very good again. They hooked up for six catches and 132 yards...in the first half and Smith finished with 181 yards receiving.

Carolina's record is 0-3 when Newton throws for 370+ yards and 1-0 when he doesn't. Only true Panthers fans are rooting for the team to stop throwing.

Buffalo at Cincinnati

Buffalo wasn't as explosive as they were last week, but then the Cincinnati defense is much better than the inept New England defense.

Cedric Benson's temporary reprieve from suspension looked to be worthless for his fantasy owners, but a big second half earned him the 100 rushing bonus.

Start playing A.J. Green, he's proving to be a valuable fantasy asset even if the Bengals can't get the ball into the endzone.

Tennessee at Cleveland

The loss of No.1 receiver Kenny Britt didn't bother Matt Hasselbeck one bit. He threw three first half touchdowns including an 80-yarder to tight end Jared Cook who played like a wideout similar to the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez.

Welcome back Chris Johnson!

Colt McCoy completed 40 passes for 350 yards to 11 different receivers, but only tight end Ben Watson has any fantasy value.

Detroit at Dallas

Dez Bryant can't be covered by one man near the goal line. Detroit tried it and was burned...twice.

Laurent Robinson will be a one-time thing, the Cowboys are off next week and Miles Austin is expected to return in Week 6. Don't pick up Robinson off the waiver wire unless you own Austin or Bryant and are looking for "insurance."

The Cowboys defense completely confused Matthew Stafford in the first half, holding him to 9-for-23 for 88 yards and an interception. The Detroit defense kept them in the game when their offense was "lost" by turning two Romo passes into 14 Lions points.

Calvin Johnson beat a triple-team for one of his two touchdown receptions. He's caught two touchdown passes in all four games. That's a 32-TD pace for the mathematically challenged.

Pittsburgh at Houston

Seeing Andre Johnson crumple to the ground without being touched was a huge blow to the Texans and fantasy owners everywhere. The good news is that it wasn't a knee. The bad news is that a strained hamstring can take a few of weeks to heal and can return if you come back too soon. Just ask Arian Foster owners.

Speaking of Foster...welcome back, Evidently, Foster was 100% healthy, otherwise we wouldn't have seen him carry the ball 30 times (for 155 yards).

With his primary weapon sidelined, Matt Schaub was a bust.

Rashard Mendenhall was another victim of this year's No.1 injury - the hamstring pull. Isaac Redman and Mewelde Moore shared carries with Mendenhall sidelined but neither is fantasy-worthy.

New Orleans at Jacksonville

Brees had almost 200 yards at halftime, hitting six different receivers - none named Marques Colston. Colston did make one catch in the second half, for eight yards. Brees finished with 351 yards passing and his main target this week was tight end Jimmy Graham (10-132-1). Predicting who Brees with feature is as difficult as predicting who Mike Shanahan will use as his No.1 back.

Darren Sproles (7 rushes for 75 yards, 5 receptions for 56 yards) is a better version of Reggie Bush...and healthier. Sproles has played in 67 of 68 games since 2007.

After a big week last Sunday, Maurice Jones-Drew got just 12 touches this week, worth 87 yards.

Minnesota at Kansas City

McNabb looked better (18-for-30 for 202 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), but remember he was facing an 0-3 Kansas City team that has averaged yielding 260 ypg.

The Vikings still use Adrian Peterson as more of a change of pace from McNabb's throwing instead of as the team's best weapon.

This was Dwayne Bowe's third consecutive week of making a solid contribution to your fantasy total.

San Francisco at Philadelphia

Who is Clay Harbor and why is he stealing points from DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin? Answer...A second-year tight end out of SW Missouri State with 10 career catches going into the day.

The Eagles need some stick' em, they put the ball on the ground too often and today it cost them a victory.

Welcome back Michael Vick. Playing a full game makes a big difference as he threw for 416 yards and a couple of touchdowns and ran for 75 yards.

The Eagles run defense was again nowhere to be found. Every fantasy owner wants his guys to face Philadelphia. Even a gimpy Frank Gore ran for 101 yards and a score.

Washington at St. Louis

Guessing who will run the ball for the Redskins is next to impossible which makes starting Tim Hightower, Roy Helu or Ryan Torain each week a gamble not worth taking. This week was Torain's turn to shine (19-135-1). Of course, given Mike Shanahan's history its not a surprising predicament.

Other than Torain, this game was predictably dull from a fantasy standpoint.

New York Giants at Arizona

Beanie Wells is looking more and more like the workhorse back we expected out of Ohio State. He might finally be worth the high draft choice (fantasyfootballnerd.com ranking 55) after posting three touchdowns and 127 yards on the ground.

Kevin Kolb seems to be leaving the pocket too soon and the result is that he's not finding any receiver not named Fitzgerald.

Hakeem Nicks looked healthy and cracked the 100-yard mark for the first time since Week 1 (10-162-1).

Another good game from Eli Manning. That's two consecutive games in which he hasn't throw an interception and his passing won the game in the fourth quarter. He's the best Manning in the NFL...at least until Peyton comes back next year.

Atlanta at Seattle

Matt Ryan was close to getting his third 300 yard game in four starts. The other game he only threw for just 195 yards but hit four touchdown passes. He's a must start these days.

Julio Jones had his second consecutive 100-yard day and is exactly who they thought he was.

Tarvaris Jackson threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Don't be fooled into thinking he's a different quarterback than his days in Minnesota. The Falcons pass defense is below average.

Denver at Green Bay

Brandon Lloyd was open by 15 yards on one pass play but an under-thrown ball by Kyle Orton cost him a touchdown. Eric Decker owners cashed in on the next play. Just another example of the ups and downs of playing fantasy football. Decker ended up scoring twice.

Willis McGahee had 17 touches while Knowshon Moreno got three.

The Packers offense is as good as anyone's particularly the passing game. Sunday was just another example. Aaron Rodgers had 408 yards and six scores (two rushing) in a 49-23 blowout victory.

The exciting Randall Cobb needs to get more opportunities to play, but that will be tough with all the talent in the Packers receiving corps. However, I'd stash him in a keeper leagues.

New England at Oakland

Reality set in for Brady and the Patriots passing game. No 500 yards, no 400 yards, no 300 yards. Only 226 yards and two touchdowns. Stevan Ridley out- played BenJarvis Green-Ellis for a second consecutive week and you should be looking to claim him off waivers this week.

Wes Welker continues to shine in the absence of any other outside receiving threat (9-158-1). The over-the-hill Chad Ochocinco and always injured Deion Branch are no threat to Welker's fantasy production.

Darrius Hayward-Bey had the second 100-yard game of his career. I'm still not ready to put him on my roster.

Miami at San Diego

Vincent Jackson would have had a "monster" day if he could have stayed on the field. He was in and out of the lineup with a leg injury and still produced a touchdown and 108 yards on three catches before halftime. Unfortunately, that's what he finished with.

Philip Rivers rebounded from a bad day last week with a 307-yard, one touchdown effort.

Ryan Mathews was a force again today, totaling 149 yards from scrimmage.

Matt Moore or Chad Henne...neither is fantasy-worthy.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


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